Nuova Simonelli is a name with an iron-clad reputation in the world of espresso machines.
Because of this, you can rest assured that you are getting a well-built machine every time you buy something with the name Nuova Simonelli on it.
So when you’re trying to decide between the Musica or the Oscar II, two machines made by this experienced manufacturer, how do you know which one is best for you?
In this article, we’ll help you figure out the answer by comparing and contrasting these machines in understandable terms.
You’ll learn about:
- Similarities and differences between these machines and how they affect you
- Pricing information for your budget
- How to decide between either one based on your specific needs
Let’s get started…
NO TIME TO READ? HERE'S THE BOTTOM LINE:
Because each situation is unique and there are so many factors to consider, there isn’t one answer that applies to everyone.
Instead, you’ll need to think about either machine in light of aspects that are specific to your situation.
If you’re looking for an espresso machine to enjoy professional-level drinks at home, then you’ll find the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II more than meets your needs and is a smaller expenditure.
The Oscar II may also work great in shops or restaurants with a low-volume of espresso orders. In that case, it will be important to make sure employees are properly trained on when to begin and end brew cycles.
In smaller businesses that see a high volume of espresso orders, like shops, offices, or hotels, the Musica may be a wise choice.
Its volumetric dosing means it will be simple to train employees of various experience levels to use it, and helps guarantee that your drinks are consistently high-quality. This feature also frees employees to attend to other tasks while the machine handles the brewing.
On top of being efficient, the Musica is a sight to behold with LED lights which will leave a memorable impression on your customers. Of course, the lights also serve an important function in providing ample light for your employees to brew with.
If you’re a home user and your budget allows for it, the Musica is also a great choice for you, especially if you’re a beginner. You’ll be able to guarantee you get delicious shots every time with its volumetric dosing, or grant yourself room to experiment with manual dosing options.
However, the Oscar II is a worthy choice, and will also make great-tasting espresso.
SINGLE BREW GROUP
Groups directly impact how many drinks can be brewed at the same time. The more groups, the more shots of espresso can be pulled simultaneously.
The Musica and the Oscar II both have a single brew group.
While this means the number of espressos that can be pulled at once is limited, it also allows users to focus on each drink that’s made. This is ideal for at-home espresso lovers or businesses with a lower volume of espresso orders.
Prevent human error from affecting the quality of your drinks through pre-infusion.
Pre-infusion aids balanced extraction by gently soaking the espresso in the group head first. This helps settle the grounds and prevent channeling that would otherwise keep water from reaching all the particles during extraction.
In a nutshell, pre-infusion can help make the flavor of your espresso even tastier by off-setting errors made in tamping.
Both the Musica and the Oscar II come with pre-infusion options, so either one of them can safeguard against barista tamping mistakes.
Temperature has a huge impact on the flavor of your espresso, and an unexpected temperature can potentially render it undrinkable.
To guard against changes in temperature (and therefore protect the taste of your shots), the Musica and the Oscar II have heat exchange boilers.
They work by having a copper tube in the boiler that carries brew-temperature water right to the group head, while steam-temperature water is stored in the rest of the boiler.
This also enhances the speed of your service by allowing you to both brew and steam concurrently. If you don’t have to wait until you’re done brewing to steam and vice versa, you’ll be able to finish your building your drinks much more quickly and keep your customers’ wait time minimal.
Having to hunch over to see your work can quickly become inconvenient and cause strain to your back, but it’s also important to be able to watch your brewing espresso so you’re alerted to any issues in color or body.
This problem is bypassed by the Musica and Oscar II, which use reflective stainless steel back plates that function as reverse mirrors.
You’ll be able to monitor the development of each espresso from all sides without needing to make yourself uncomfortable by stooping.
As an added bonus, the gleaming stainless steel is also a treat to look at and will impress customers or guests at home alike.
Traditionally, steam was operated by turning a valve in espresso machines.
Over the course of the day, spending hours turning a valve could lead to discomfort in your wrists.
That’s why Nuova Simonelli implemented the brilliant push-pull steam mechanism in the Musica and Oscar II, which makes steaming into a pain-free experience.
Baristas can steam through gently pushing a lever up or down into on and off positions. If you’re not using the machine often, this feature may not be as important, but for baristas who are constantly making drinks, the difference will be noticeable.
DIRECT-CONNECT AND POUR-OVER OPTIONS
Both these machines are offered in direct-connect and pour-over configurations, allowing for flexibility to meet differing needs and budgets.
What’s the difference between direct-connect and pour-over machines?
In pour-over machines, when the water tank is depleted, it must be must refilled by hand. We also recommend using a water softener tablet with these models to both improve the taste of the water and to improve the longevity of your machine by cutting down on scaling.
Pour-over options can be less expensive and can be used anywhere, because they don’t need to be connected to a water line.
The alternative is direct-connect machines, which hook up to a water line. Generally, business have a strong preference for this kind of machine because they’re just more convenient.
The water reservoir in a direct-connect espresso machine is automatically refilled, which translates to you or your employees never needing to stop whatever they’re doing to replenish it. It’s also easier to install a water softener or filter to help improve your water quality and guard against scaling.
If you have a preference between direct-connect or pour-over, either the Musica or the Oscar II can meet your requirements, as they are both available in direct-connect or pour-over configurations.
TIMED DOSING OR VOLUMETRIC DOSING
Timed and volumetric dosing are two different ways of helping guarantee each espresso shot has the same level of quality time after time.
The Musica, which uses volumetric dosing, automatically stops the brewing cycle when an espresso shot has reached a specific pre-programmed volume.
In the Oscar II, the brewing cycle is ended after a particular amount of time has passed rather than after a certain volume has been reached.
Depending on which method is used in your machine, you may need alter how you dial in the grind. However, either method is straightforward and in either method, the espresso machine does the dosing for you, which makes crafting perfect shots achievable by beginners or experts.
MUSICA MANUAL DOSING BUTTON
A more seasoned barista may want more control over each aspect of the drink-building process.
This is why a manual dosing option can be a really attractive feature. Instead of using the automatic timed or volumetric dosing, baristas will be able to choose when to start and stop brewing.
The Musica offers a manual dosing button that those itching to test their skills can press to either begin or end brewing. If you’re a seasoned espresso expert, you’ll find this option an excellent way to either hone your skills or maintain them, as well as allow you to add a personal touch to your drinks.
MUSICA SURFACE LEDS
Not only is the Nuova Simonelli Musica efficient, but it looks like a masterpiece.
The Lux model of the Musica comes with dazzling LEDs on its surface. Customers will be drawn to the beauty of the machine sitting on your counter, and its exquisite look will highlight the chic tones in your atmosphere.
These lights do more than just look pretty, though. They also provide light in the barista’s workspace, so they can see everything they’re doing to ensure their work is up to your shop’s standard.
Both the Musica and the Oscar II comes with boiler indicators – the difference is in how they work.
In the Oscar II, the boiler indicator is a light on the touch pad on the front. When the machine is ready to brew or steam, the light will come on.
This doesn’t grant you a detailed look at your boiler’s pressure, though, so you may need to allow the machine a bit more time after the light comes on before you begin brewing or steaming.
The Musica has a much more in-depth boiler pressure gauge. You’ll be able to see an accurate reading of the pressure in the boiler.
Because you’ll have an exact reading of the boiler pressure, you’ll know when it’s too low in addition to knowing when it’s ready for use. This means you’ll be aware of any potential issues that may need to be corrected when they happen.
How much something will cost you is important to some degree in every purchase.
Espresso machines are no different, and there’s one for every size of budget.
If you have a stricter budget, you will prefer the Oscar II, which is the more basic of the two machines. The pour-over configuration costs $1,295 and the direct-connect version costs $1,620.
If you’re interested in having more advanced features at your disposal and your budget allows for it, you’ll be drawn to the Musica. The Musica model without surface LEDs costs $2,245 for pour-over models and $2,925 for direct-connect models. With surface LEDs, the pour-over option runs at $2,515 and direct-connect at $3,240.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Take a look at our current prices and more detailed information on the Nuova Simonelli Musica and the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II right here on Majesty Coffee.